Africa must cut reliance on food imports, says Nigerian billionaire
(CNN) — Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari is threatening to withdraw food aid from his country as he prepares to step down, claiming it is the only way to control the nation’s rising prices.
Buhari, who was re-elected last year, says he has no choice but to declare a food emergency as domestic prices have spiked as a result of rising fuel and food costs and poor supply of the country’s staple crops.
“The situation is serious and we have no option but to declare a state of emergency. We have to save ourselves first,” he told reporters.
Buhari, who came to power in 2011 after the death of his predecessor, Goodluck Ebele, has made fighting inflation, a hallmark of his administration, a major priority. He’s even gone as far as calling for a complete shutdown of the central bank so officials can’t run off with the country’s reserves.
This could prove to be an enormous threat to the nation’s economy.
According to the World Bank, Nigeria’s economy is a total mess. It’s among the world’s lowest-ranked in terms of competitiveness.
Buhari wants to control production, but by doing so, he’s almost guaranteed that prices will soar, driving up the cost of the country’s staples, driving up the cost of imported foods and threatening the country’s food safety.
When asked if he thought the food crisis could lead to a global food crisis, he responded with a clear, if not surprising, no.
“No. We have sufficient storage and storage facilities — the best available in the world. If I were to leave that in place, the food would be fine and there would be no problem. But what is being done now is not sufficient,” he said.
The president spoke at a news conference where he vowed to step down as soon as possible, a week after his inauguration. His decision could make him